Written by Jasey Roberts
Last semester, I took a meditation class with Dr. Dane Hilton. My preconception of the practice was Adam, my annoyingly well-put-together friend who converted to Buddhism and who often asked the friend group to stop what we’re doing and “meditate on it.” We were in a particularly harrowing game of Dungeons and Dragons once, and while my friends parked themselves on the couch and ohm-ed I found myself another slice of pizza.
I’ve never considered myself a very spiritual person. It isn’t a self-conscious, posturing thing, like: “Oh, I know better than you! I have no beliefs therefore I can’t be wrong!” I just haven’t jived with the idea of a higher power so far. Upon taking Dr. Hilton’s meditation class, I found mindful meditation is a powerful tool that has scientifically proven benefits for your mind and wellbeing.
Most people meditate in one form or another. Exercise, reading, and even cooking can put me in this weird, lucid, meditative state. A large part of it is becoming aware of the processes of your mind. One of the more important things is knowing that when you have an invasive thought, you can acknowledge it and move on.
Dr. Hilton said many times throughout the course, “It isn’t about staying with your breathing, it’s returning to it.” As someone who is currently going through not the best time of life, I can say this tenet of the practice has stayed with me, even when I haven’t been consistently meditating. As we surpass the yearly anniversary of the day the world started sucking a lot extra, it’s important to return to our breathing. In and out.
As the gentle-voice man says at the end of my meditation tapes, “Thank you for giving yourself this gift.”